Do you use your air fryer for fakeaway recipes yet? If not then what on earth are you waiting for? When air fryers were new about 10 years or so ago, they were mostly used for chips but now many people use them more than their ovens! There are so many reasons you should use your air fryer when making fakeaways so here I am sharing those with you as well as my favourite air fryer fakeaway recipes.
Why you should consider using an air fryer
It is like a mini oven and quicker
Did you know that an air fryer can cook at around the same temperature that a conventional oven does? It is, however, smaller so not necessarily ideal for a 10-dish meal for a family of 8 but for the majority of people on an average day it holds enough.
Due to the size difference and the way they are made an air fryer heats up much more quickly than a conventional oven, thus costing less, it also often cooks more quickly because there is only that smaller area to heat up.
It is cheaper
Do you know how to work out how much each of your appliances cost to run? A standard oven could cost you around 71p an hour and an average air fryer is 65p per hour.
The difference might not seem much but if on average you use it for an hour a day that could save you £21.90 a year.
Also, if you are using it to cook fakeaways you could be saving £30 a week on takeaways (if not more!) which is a whopping £1560 a year!
It is healthier
An air fryer also reduces the need for oil in your cooking or certainly reduces the amount you use. Some dishes need a little spray oil but it is still a lot less than you could use to roast or fry something.
Using an air fryer to make fakeaways is obviously saving a lot of calories on takeaways too as they are often mass-produced with more fat and oil than is needed to cook the foods.
Choosing an Air fryer
The size of your family and also the sorts of foods your family eats will affect the kind of air fryer you choose. There are some great dual-basket air fryers, larger single-basket air fryers, multicookers with an air fryer function and air fryers with a paddle to turn the food.
I have used an air fryer with a paddle, a large single-basket air fryer, and a multicooker with an air fryer function previously. However, I have just been sent a dual-basket air fryer from Very to try out. I was so excited as this meant I can cook two dishes without having to get two gadgets out! I have far too many gadgets so this means I can definitely get rid of one or more!
Having never used a dual basket air fryer before I had only seen expensive ones so was impressed that the Tower Vortx 8l dual basket air fryer is currently £149 which is very reasonable in my experience.
How good is the Tower Vortx 8l dual-basket air fryer?
I am very impressed with this air fryer for a number of reasons. Firstly it looks smart on my worktop and being square it fits well without having lots of wasted space as you often have with circular appliances and gadgets.
Secondly, I like the fact it is digital and each basket can be controlled separately so two very different dishes can be cooked at the same time. This is perfect when you want an air fryer for fakeaway recipes as you do not all need to eat the exact same meal, one reason many people choose a takeaway!
The baskets of the air fryer are easy to remove to wipe out or add a liner to which is perfect for keeping the gadget clean. You should never put the basket in the dishwasher or immerse it in water so wiping it is usually best but this doesn’t need to be hard if you use a dishwasher-safe silicone liner!
As a vegetarian, I love that with one gadget I can now cook a few different things so my family and I can eat healthily rather than it being one or the other. I was often having to use the air fryer for one option and the oven for the other which of course meant it didn’t save me any money or time! For example, I can cook vegetarian sausages in one side and bacon in the other side if we want a healthy fry-up!
So far I have found the Tower Vortx 8l dual basket air fryer to be great and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a versatile money-saving air fryer allowing you to cook different dishes at the same time.
The other day I cooked a whole Indian fakeaway with just the air fryer, pressure cooker and slow cookers! It saved money on a takeaway which could have easily been £40 and was also cheaper than using various rings on the hob and deep frying bhajis. I made Chicken tikka masala in the slow cooker (I had a vegetarian version), onion bhajis in the air fryer, Aloo Gajar Matar in the air fryer, a yoghurt and mint dip, and rice in the pressure cooker. It was great and also saved standing stirring things for ages which I am struggling to do at the moment since I am still recovering from covid pneumonia.
How to cook almost anything in the air fryer
There are a few simple things to be aware of when cooking in the air fryer. Firstly, it isn’t really designed for very wet foods, the slow cooker is best for that. So I wouldn’t advise using it to make things like a stew or soups.
Secondly, due to the size of the drawer/drawers in whichever air fryer you buy, it may limit a little what you can cook. That said I have seen people cook a whole chicken in one side of a dual-basket air fryer!
Using the air fryer instead of the oven
You can cook most foods that you would usually cook in the oven simply select the same temperature and cook it! Sometimes foods may need a quick shake or mix around depending on how well they are packed in so keep an eye on that until you are used to it. No one likes a raw chip!
Another thing to consider if using the air fryer instead of the oven is that it is likely to cook your food more quickly. I would highly recommend that anyone who doesn’t have one invests in a meat thermometer to check food is thoroughly cooked before serving it. This is especially important when you are just getting used to air-frying food.
If cooking from scratch again most things can be cooked in the air fryer including meatballs, small dishes of lasagne/pasta bake etc, potato wedges, Yorkshire puddings, roasted vegetables, chicken breasts etc.
Using the air fryer instead of the hob
As an alternative to the hob the air fryer can be used for foods that you would normally pan fry such as vegetables for stir fry, sausages, bacon, steaks etc.
I have even seen people poach eggs in the air fryer but I must admit I haven’t been brave enough to try that myself yet! Another thing I have seen done is boiled eggs, though they are not actually boiled they are just cooked to be solid in their shells in the same way as a boiled egg but without the water!
There are so many foods I am planning on experimenting with!
My favourite ways of using the air fryer for fakeaway recipes
If you wouldn’t normally get a takeaway once a week perhaps, or for a special occasion then you could instead make a fakeaway and use your air fryer. Here are some of our family’s fakeaway favourites that can also be made in an air fryer.
Chicken kebabs, skewers and gyros – If you like to cook halloumi, chicken, vegetables or any other meats then you can skewer them as normal and cook them in the air fryer instead of the oven or grill.
Chicken nuggets – whether you make your own or buy them from the supermarket these can easily be cooked in the air fryer.
Indian – I have so many Indian dishes and a few you could easily make in the air fryer. These are Aloo Gobi, onion bhajis and Aloo Gajar Matar. If you buy ready-made naan bread they heat up well in the air fryer and don’t go soggy as they do in the microwave. There really is no need to put the oven or grill on for them anymore!
Chinese – There are not many Chinese dishes I have made that would easily be cooked from scratch in the air fryer except crispy seaweed. You could also cook items such as spring rolls, prawn toast and wontons that you have bought from the supermarket and save money on your fakeaway by not using the oven!
Chippy tea – You can cook chips easily in the air fryer and prebought battered or breaded fish or sausages. If you wanted to make your own then you would need a silicone liner but there would be no reason to stop you from using the air fryer to cook them which would be so much healthier than deep-fat frying!
Mexican – Burritos and tacos would be great made and cooked in the air fryer. For some you may need a silicone liner to enable you to easily remove it but they are around a tenner online so easy enough to buy!
Desserts in the air fryer
Whilst it isnt healthy to make desserts in the air fryer as they are still desserts it is money saving! You can make fairy cakes or a larger cake depending on the size of your baskets. Any dessert you usually put in the oven you can usually cook in the air fryer. I am keen to try an apple crumble in the air fryer as I am a huge apple crumble fan! A small dish like the one below would be perfectly suitable for the air fryer just be sure to use oven gloves when removing it!
The only dessert I am not sure about cooking in the air fryer is meringues. They require such delicacy and high heat I am not sure how easy they would be to cook and then remove from an air fryer. That said I might give it a try and let you know!
What other foods do you enjoy for fakeaways? Could oyu cook them in the air fryer as an alternative? Do you have an air fryer yet or have I inspired you to buy one?
The air fryer I was sent from Very is one of their dual drawer range and called the Tower 8l dual basket air fryer, model T17097. Check it out with the other air fryers from Very and see which suits your needs.